Don't Tell Your Kids
Most parents have difficulty deciding how much of the “bad stuff” (war, death, etc.) they should tell their kids about, or when they’re old enough to hear it.
New research from Ulrike Malmendier of the University of California and Stefan Nagel of Stanford identifies another kid-sensitive subject parents might want to avoid for a while: the financial crisis.
According to this Economist article on their research, Nagel and Malmendier found that “people’s eventual appetite for risk is affected by the economic environment during their childhood, well before financial matters could possibly have been of interest.”
In short, what you tell your kids about the current financial crisis — or what they discover on their own — could affect what financial choices they make throughout their lives.
But grown-ups aren’t immune either. The study found, for instance, that “people who had experienced lower stock-market returns over the course of their lives put a smaller fraction of their money into stocks than people who had lived, on average, in times when stocks had done better,” reports the Economist.
And so, to readers of this blog with children: have you discussed the financial crisis with them, and if so, how did they respond?